Turkey’s elections have stunned the whole world. A turnaround of such a magnitude in a matter of five months is probably unprecedented in electoral history. Having lost a full one fifth of its electorate (nine percentage points) in the general elections of 7 June earlier this year, the AKP of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, now president of the republic and formerly prime minister, made an unbelievable comeback in the snap elections held on 1st November. It regained all that it had given away earlier, receiving close to half the popular vote. Two million votes taken away from the fascist party, the MHP; one million from the HDP, the predominantly Kurdish party; half a million form a fundamentalist Islamist party, the predecessor of the AKP, and another million from new strata that came to vote at a higher rate this time. By any standards, the volatility of the electoral figures, to use purposefully a term popular in stock market jargon, is extremely intriguing. Sungur Savran: The phantom election részletei…
The Syrianisation of Turkey
The immense catastrophe that struck Turkey in the streets of Ankara, the capital city, on 10 October, when two bombs exploded in the midst of a thronging crowd of what would possibly turn out to be hundreds of thousands of people, leading to the death of an indefinite number of people, in any case exceeding one hundred, and the wounding of hundreds, some still under the risk of death, is a sharp reminder, if any were needed, that this is a country undergoing a severe political crisis. The tragic loss of life, ranging from a nine-year old boy to a seventy-year old woman and involving the deaths of a very high number of young people, has left the working class movement, the broad left, the community of Alevis, the minority religious denomination in Turkey, and the Kurdish people, all of whom were involved in the peace demonstration that was attacked, in profound grief and mourning. It is cause for consolation, however, to witness the fact that the main aim of this hideous attack has been thwarted since, despite the grief, the masses have not been intimidated and have come out in militant mood both to protest and to bury their dead.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s personal quest for survival
The Kurdish town of Cizre, a settlement with a population of approximately 150 thousand souls in Southeastern Turkey, is now under siege of the Turkish armed forces and the so-called “special operation force” of the police for a second time, after a previous one-week long siege was lifted for an interlude of two days. A round-the-clock curfew is accompanied by power cuts and the interruption all means of communication including mobile telephones and the Internet. The evidence that came out when the first round of siege was lifted attests to a terrible human drama. Over 30 civilians are dead, ranging from a 35-day old infant to a 75-year old man. Before the siege was lifted, government sources claimed that security forces had killed more than a dozen fighters of the PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla army, denying any civilian deaths. How the baby and the old man could have contributed to the fight of the PKK remains a mystery unexplored by government spokespeople after the facts have come to light.